3D Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) for USV Navigation

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FarSounder is a leading developer of 3D forward looking sonar (FLS) technology, a valuable navigation tool for USVs (unmanned surface vessels) and AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles).

Their advanced underwater sonar systems feature an extremely fast update rate that provides the entire 3D image within a single ping. The data is highly reliable for the detection of hazards, obstacles and shallows, enhancing safety and navigation capabilities. The systems are also integratable with a vessel’s navigation controller.

3d Forward Looking Sonar for usv & auv

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Advanced Underwater 3D Detection

Their advanced underwater sonar systems provide highly reliable detection of hazards, obstacles and shallows, enhancing safety and navigation capabilities.

Navigation Sonar

The Argos navigation sonars feature unique phased-array technology with an extremely fast update rate that provides the entire 3D image within a single ping, eliminating wait time. This rapid refresh also means that results are unaffected by multipath interference, roll & pitch, surface effects, and vessel motions.

Data can be displayed on both an intuitive 3D display and as an overlay on nautical charts including S57/S63 and C-MAP Professional charts, providing an easy-to-understand interface that allows USVs to be piloted through unknown and uncharted waters. The built-in Local History Mapping capability allows users to build a colour-coded 3D map of the seafloor where the vessel has recently sailed. All Argos systems also allow users to define and set automated visual and audible alarms.

There is also an option for projects wanting to use the bathymetric data collected by the system in survey applications. Therefore, in addition to underwater navigation, the data can be exported to QPS Qinsy survey software to monitor bathymetry and detected hazards in Qinsy. Users will be able to incorporate bathymetric data collected using FarSounder’s forward looking capability into their workflow.

underwater sonar imaging system - intuitive 3d display

Intuitive 3D Display
3-dimensional image ahead of a vessel at navigationally significant ranges

forward facing sonar over charts lhm

Sonar Over Charts
They paint a clear picture by displaying forward looking sonar data on top of a nautical chart

Fixed Installation

Fixed Installation
Installation design is fixed with no moving parts, suitable for many types of vessels

Fixed Update Rate

Fixed Update Rate
Phased array technology enables FarSounder’s sonars to generate the entire 3D image with a single ping

Our easily-integrated sonar systems are ideal for both new-build and retrofitted systems, and are suitable for vessels both with and without bulbs.

3D Forward Looking Sonar Solutions

Argos 350 Forward Looking Sonar System

Navigation sonar for USVs

Argos 350 auv sonar

90° up to 350m range

The Argos 350 Forward Looking Sonar System is designed for vessels ranging in length from 18 to 40+ metres (60 to 130+ feet). With the ability to detect hazards and obstacles at distances of up to 350 metres ahead, it is operational at speeds up to 18 knots.

performing a simple survey

Performing a simple survey

The system provides USV operators with all the real-time information they need to confidently navigate reefs, shallow wrecks, icebergs and a variety of other challenging marine environments. In addition to obstacle avoidance, the 3D sonar data is crucial for a wide range of mapping and survey applications.

The Argos 350 can be installed in two different ways to suit the needs of a range of unmanned vessels – an easy fixed installation, or a hoist installation in a 10-inch diameter sea chest.

More information: Argos 350 Forward Looking Sonar System

Argos 500 Forward Looking Sonar

Underwater sonar navigation system

Argos 500 forward scanning sonar

120° up to 200m range
90° up to 500m range

The Argos 500 3D FLS provides reliable detection of shallows and underwater obstacles, hazards and targets at distances of up to 500m in front of the vessel. It can be operated on boats moving at speeds of up to 20 knots.

The system is ideal for mid-size USVs that require high-accuracy collision avoidance capabilities, or the ability to easily and conveniently map shallow underwater environments.

Short Range Seafloor Bottom Contour

Short Range Seafloor Bottom Contour

Featuring a transducer with no moving parts, the Argos 500 is easily integrated into the hulls of both new-build and retrofitted vessels, and can also be built into custom third-party hoists.

More information: Argos 500 3D FLS

Argos 1000 Long-Range FLS

Forward facing sonar for USV navigation

Argos 1000 underwater navigation

120° up to 200m range
90° up to 500m range
60° up to 1000m range

The Argos 1000 is our most powerful Forward Looking Sonar system, providing reliable collision avoidance and hazard detection 1000 metres (0.5 nautical miles) in front of the vessel at operating speeds up to 25 knots.

The system is ideal for both current and future large unmanned surface vessels, allowing these platforms to overcome the limitations of traditional navigation methods and allow operating crews to pilot the vessel through challenging environments with significantly reduced risk of collision.

Shoreline Detected at Long Range

Shoreline Detected at Long Range

The Argos 1000’s transducer has no moving parts, allowing it to be easily integrated into a variety of hull shapes on both new-build and retrofitted vessels. It can also be built into custom third-party hoists to suit specific user requirements.

More information: Argos 1000 Long-Range FLS

Product comparison:

Argos 350 Argos 500 Argos 1000
Ranges 100, 200, 350 m 100, 200, 500 m 100, 200, 500, 1000 m
Field of View 90° up to 350m 120° up to 200m
90° up to 500m
120° up to 200m
90° up to 500m
60° up to 1000m
Max Operational Speed 18 knots 20 knots 25 knots
Maximum Depth Detection 50 m (165 ft)
Power Requirements 110/220 V
50/60 Hz @~80W
110/220 V
50/60 Hz @~100W
110/220 V
50/60 Hz @~120W
Angular Accuracy ~1.6°
Roll/Pitch Stabilization +/- 20°
Refresh Rate ~3 Hz to ~1 Hz
(depending upon range)
~3 Hz to ~0.75 Hz
(depending upon range)
~3 Hz to ~0.5 Hz
(depending upon range)

Learn more about FarSounder’s Argos 3D forward-looking navigation sonars

Watch an introduction to the Argos 3D Forward Looking Navigation Sonars:

FLS 3D Navigation sonar
Click the image to watch the video on YouTube

Learn more about the components of the system and how they function, as well as the most common features of FarSounder’s SonaSoft™ processing software.

3D Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) for USV Navigation
FarSounder Contact Directly Follow Company
FarSounder 151 Lavan Street, Warwick, RI 02888 USA +1 401 784 6700 [email protected] Visit Website